Farmers Market Zucchini Brownies

Farmers Market Zucchini Brownies

It's that time of year again! Time for mouth-watering, food-gasm inducing, FARMERS MARKETS. Personally, I love few things more than paroozing a farmers market on a Sunday morning. I love knowing where my food comes from and that it was picked within the same week that I'm consuming it. I also love supporting local farmers. Farming without industrial chemicals and industrial scale equipment is HARD and I have a lot of respect for the people that grow my food. I also love the challenge of eating foods that are in season. It is pretty cool to buy a crazy looking pile of garlic spears (the tops of young garlic), take them home, and cook something you've never eaten before.

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Pineapple Coconut Green Smoothie

Pineapple Coconut Green Smoothie

Hello there! It feels like I haven't posted a recipe in forever... oh wait, I haven't. I just got back from a month in Nicaragua. Talk about a way to bring in Summer. I went from a chilly Spring in Whistler to 90 degree (30 plus degrees Celsius) tropical Central America. I spent most of my time in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua's surf capital. San Juan had all the quintessential things you would expect a Central American surf town to have: bright colored buildings, $6 lobster dinners, psychedelic surf art, beautiful sunsets over the ocean, and an eclectic assortment of locals (much like Whistler).

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Poached Vegetables with Lemon Caper Sauce

Poached Vegetables with Lemon Caper Sauce

I just love turning through the pages of a new or favorited cookbook. It just lights me up! I start dreaming up all the different flavors I want to combine... all the dishes I want to recreate with my own flare. Last year my best friend Alex gave me one of my favorite cookbooks: Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Ottolenghi has 3 eyeball-seducing, saliva-enducing, cookbooks: Plenty, Ottolenghi, and Jerusulem. Each one has gorgeous full page recipe photos, unique thought-provoking flavor combinations and informative food facts like jersulam articokes are also called sunchokes and are similar to potatoes when you cook them.

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Crispy Oven Roasted Broccoli (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Crispy Oven Roasted Broccoli (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

You know how you get those cravings? Like you just HAVE TO HAVE something _______ (insert: sweet, salty, creamy, etc.) or you just might die? Well I had one of those must-have cravings recently and thank god I found this amazing recipe for crispy roasted broccoli. Think crunchy and salty meets broccoli and tastes like sinful broccoli Parmesan. This dish was so delicious that I almost ate the entire pan in one sitting. It is incredibly satisfying and sooo tasty-- honestly it is my favorite way I've ever had broccoli. Give it a try, you'll thank me.

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Flourless Blueberry Banana Bread (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Flourless Blueberry Banana Bread (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Hello there! I am very excited to talk about one of my favorite things: Banana Bread. My love for banana bread has dramatically evolved over the last 2 years. Two years ago something rather strange happened and made me realize that I had become gluten-intolerant. It all started at Whistler's best bakery, Pure Bread. Now no one can step foot into its doors without salivating- perfectly powdered almond croissants, buttery blueberry scones, fudgy flourless brownies, fresh baked breads.. I don't care who you are, their stuff smells and looks awesome. I walked into its doors knowing I couldn't enjoy its tasty treats. I already noticed the signs of my gluten intolerancensssss. That didn't stop me from taking a few bites of my girlfriend's scone though. I thought "What's two bites going to do?" Apparently a whole lot..

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Raw Key Lime Pies (Vegan, Paleo, Dairy-Free, GF)

Raw Key Lime Pies (Vegan, Paleo, Dairy-Free, GF)

With St Patrick's Day approaching and Spring in the air, I was inspired to think of a healthy dessert recipe. Something fresh and exciting that captured the spunk of the Irish and the zing of Spring. I think I found it! These Key Lime Pies ROCK. They're fresh, crisp and energizing. I made them dairy-free, paleo, vegan and raw so that everyone can enjoy them and feel awesome afterwards! I also made two different recipes as well as two different was to form the crust. As per usual, I made them individually portioned in muffin tins but you can make them into one giant pie if you'd like. See below for all the fun!

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Mini Vegetable Frittatas (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

Mini Vegetable Frittatas (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

Eggs are awesome! Don't you think so? They are one of the simplest yet tastiest sources of protein out there. If you haven't noticed, I cook with them quite a bit: Eggs baked in Avocado, Quinoa Fried Rice, 3 Ingredient Pancakes, Salad Nicoise, Famous 4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies and more! This recipe is a new favorite for a few reasons: 1) They can be saved and used in other meals like over a salad, in a sandwich, or as a snack  2) You can make each one a different flavor  3) They are a great source of protein and vegetables.

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Eggs in an Avocado (baked or poached!)

Eggs in an Avocado (baked or poached!)

I love experimenting with new ways to have my favorite things and this recipe has three of my favorite things (avocados, eggs, bacon and hot sauce)! I came across a recipe similar to this one when I was researching avocado recipes for work. As you may know, I am a fitness instructor and manager at a gym in Whistler, Canada. I live and breathe fitness and healthy eating, and I love it! I knew avocados where good for you and I wanted to share some health properties and creative recipes with our members. Here's one of the things I came up with and some of the facts I found..

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Simple 3 Ingredient Pancakes (Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Simple 3 Ingredient Pancakes (Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

I just love pancakes. But I have to admit, they are something I rarely treat myself too. There are two reasons for this: 1) I hate feeling sluggish in the morning and 2) I'm gluten intolerant and refuse to consume highly-processed wheat substitutes (they're just not food in my opinion). I'd rather have some real food that gives me energy. But I couldn't continue to live a pancake free life..  I knew there had to be a way to have my pancake and eat it too! And that's when I scoured the internet for simply, healthy recipes. Then I stumbled on this one. It was so simply I was skeptical that my pancakes would taste like fried eggs or bananas. Neither were true. This recipe is awesome! And unlike traditional pancakes, it is sure to leave you satisfied and full of energy.

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Simple Roasted Chicken 3 Ways: A Busy Life Staple

Simple Roasted Chicken 3 Ways: A Busy Life Staple

And it is February! I hope that the beginning of everyone's 2014 has been awesome. For those who made New Years Resolutions, this is now the most challenging time. You may have noticed your motivation slip after January 20th.. 20 days is typically how long people can hold short term motivation. Which is a SHAME because research shows it takes approximately 30 days to form a habit... New Years Resolutions or not, we all want to eat healthier and look better. Most of us make the resolution everyday, which I think is awesome.  As you may know, I manage a gym and teach fitness classes. I hear people talk about these goals on the regular. And I hear a lot of complaints "Mandy it is just so hard/expensive/boring to eat healthy." I think that couldn't be further from the truth. And here's why..

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Raw and Paleo Treats: Brownie Bites, Pumpkin Seed Crisps, Cookie Dough Protein Balls, Macaroons

Raw and Paleo Treats:  Brownie Bites,  Pumpkin Seed Crisps, Cookie Dough Protein Balls, Macaroons

I had the privilege of being hired to make some of the treats for my work (Whistler Core) 7th Anniversary Party. What an honor! I wanted to create a spread that would satisfy different appetites and be approachable for paleo, raw, gluten free etc. Here's what I came up with: Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seed Crisps, Raw Brownie Bites 2 Ways, Paleo Cookie Dough Protein Balls, and Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons. Dive in!

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Smoked Paprika and Chimichurri Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Smoked Paprika and Chimichurri Sauce

Even though there is still no snow on the ground where I live, I know that winter is right around the corner. Meaning that the upcoming weeks mark my favorite time to cook  hearty, warm, satisfying dishes.  One of which is soup. So.... I to bring on the heat, I decided to spice things up (literally) and put a spin on my favorite: Red Pepper and Tomato.

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BBQ Pineapple & Mint

BBQ Pineapple & Mint

Sound a little strange? This is possibly the strangest and most interesting dessert I've ever made. Alex and I found in next to a recipe for Wasabi Salmon (which we also made) in the March edition of Bon Appetit magazine. My mom collects these magazines by the dozens. While they're beautiful, I rarely resurrect their glossy pages in my own kitchen. This recipe stood out- for one it involved a barbeque (thank god it is finally barbeque season) and it had unusual flavors like honey, mint and pistachio. I'm pretty creative but I would never think to combine these flavors.

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Thai Pumpkin Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Thai Pumpkin Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Nothing warms the heart and body like a good curry. Curries come in all shapes and sizes: from a Japanese curry made with stock and wheat flour to Indian dal whose beans act at thickeners. "Curry" is a blanket term for a saucy or stew like dish that is rich in ground spices and herbs. Most curries slow cook so the ingredients (typically vegetables and meat) have time to absorb the flavors and spices.

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Simple Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Simple Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I've often told people that if I were to have my own stand in a farmers market it would be a sauce, marinade and dressing stand. I mean a life without sauce isn't a life worth living. My only critique of this tasty meal make or braker is that making sauces homemade can be time consuming and difficult. This recipe is one of the exceptions. And even better? It is versatile- you can put it on fish, chicken, veggies, potatoes etc. You can also mix it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar) to make a salad dressing. 

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Steamed Mussels Linguine a la White Wine Sauce

Steamed Mussels Linguine a la White Wine Sauce

Like most people, I love seafood but am less than confident cooking it at home. However, I've come to learn that the only way to gain this kind of confidence is by diving in head first--even if it means failing a couple of times. Fortunately for me, I have recently moved in with my younger brother who just finished culinary school so we took on this project together.

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